A state of Australia, and prior to that the oldest British colony in Australia. Founded in 1788, it originally comprised most of the Australian mainland, but over the 19th century parts of it were succesively separated to form separate British colonies: Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia. It joined with these other colonies (and also with Tasmania, which was never part of New South Wales) in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
The capital of New South Wales is Sydney, which is Australia's largest and oldest city, with a population of 4 million.
New South Wales is a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head of state; the Queen is represented in the state by a Governor. The State Parliament is composed of two houses, the Legislative Assembly (lower house), and the Legislative Council (upper house). The head of the State government is the Premier of New South Wales, currently Bob Carr.
State law is available at .
The official state website is .